Monday, April 23, 2007

Stories from the Fontlines: Moses

I met Moses in the line of a soup kitchen that I was helping out with. Moses just got out of prison and is desperately trying to make a better life for himself this time around. In San Francisco, there is no hope to escape homelessness without a job (a social security check doesn’t cover the cost of even most low-income rooms here). Luckily, Moses worked in an auto body shop before he was incarcerated. However, Moses has two things going against him.
Most employers consider hiring an ex-con to be taking a big risk, and many aren’t willing to take that risk. Also, Moses is applicable for a grant that will allow him to buy $1,000 worth of auto body and paint tools. However, in order to receive it, he must have proof of employment. So with Moses, it is a circular problem. He must have tools in order to get a job, but he must first have a job, to be applicable for the grant that will give him tools.
Moses is not unlike many ex-cons who sincerely desire to make a new life for themselves. But without a job, these men and women are forced to either live on the streets and eat in soup kitchens…or turn to more lucrative illegal lines of business. Pray for Moses, that he would find a job and be able to make a new life for himself here in San Francisco.

-Ben, CSM San Francisco 2007 Spring City Host

Monday, April 09, 2007

Stories from the Fontlines: Bruce

Hi all! Just some of our amazing City Hosts (Ben) is putting together a monthly newsletter called "Stories from the Frontlines". In it, he tells the story of people living in San Francisco and how we can be praying for them. Please take a moment and remember that these stories are real people and pray for them!

Every time a new group comes in to spend the week with us, we take them on a prayer tour. This is a tour through the city where we show them around and have them spend a couple of hours in prayer for the city. At a couple of locations, we get out of the car and pray for the people in the city. Sometimes when we are stopped at these places pan-handlers will identify us as Christians and ask us for money, many times telling long extravagant stories.
This was what I thought was about to happen when I met Bruce. During the first stop of a prayer tour, a young man walked up to our group of middle school children. “I don’t usually do this,” he said, “but I saw that you all were Christians, and I just need you all to pray for me.” Bruce had recently run away from home. He was homeless, hungry, and cold. He never told us what had occurred to cause him to run away, but he did say that he wasn’t ready to return home just yet. Apparently he had a very strained relationship with his father, and he wanted to give it a few weeks, before he returned.
Bruce asked us to pray for him. He wanted us to pray that he would be safe on the streets for a couple of weeks and that God would repair the relationship he had with his father. The whole time, I kept expecting him to ask us if we had a little bit of change to spare. He never did. We prayed for him as a group, and then he smiled and walked away. “How cynical have I become?” I asked myself.
Pray for Bruce, that he WOULD remain safe and be able stay away from the lures of drugs and sex that draw so many teen runaways in this city. Also pray for me and for all of the missionaries that are hassled so often that we have come to expect it. I don’t want to be that way.

Monday, April 02, 2007

News from Toronto

It has been real busy here in Toronto with the spring groups that have been
serving here. We have been seeing God work in many lives. Just this weekend
we had a group from St. Thomas, Ontario. It was really neat. They came to
Toronto calling the street people "the homeless" and left calling them by
name and realizing that we reallly shouldn't place titles on people. The
only true name we should call someone is by their real one. By calling
people homeless they realized that we take away the story of that individual
and this robs them of there individuality and identity. I found it
encouraging to see this group grow so quickly and truly learn that people on
the streets have stories to. I believe that they willl take this home and
put it in to practice in the schools they all attend and in their everyday

Blessings from Toronto,
Mark, CSM Toronto 2007 Spring City Host